Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Genre: First Person Shooter, Role Playing
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Borderlands 3 is a role playing first person looter shooter developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the fourth mainline instalment in the Borderlands franchise, and the first numbered entry in seven years since Borderlands 2’s launch in 2012.
Speculation that Borderlands 3 was in development had been rampant for many years prior to its reveal, but Gearbox Software wanted to take a break from the series after having worked on the first two games back to back. Not wanting to be burnt out and wanting to do something new, Gearbox decided to work on Battleborn after Borderlands 2, and ultimately felt that the time off they had taken from the series allowed them to come back to Borderlands 3 refresh and energized and with new ideas on how to take the series forward.
Borderlands 3 was officially unveiled at PAX East in March 2019. Originally announced to be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC in September of the year, it was later also confirmed that it would launch for Google’s streaming service, Stadia, when it launched in November. 2K Games later also announced that on PC, the game would launch as a timed exclusive for the Epic Games Store and would not be releasing on Steam. This was met with a lot of controversy from fans.
Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford also at one point said that the game would have no loot boxes and no microtransactions, but this was later clarified by the developers to mean that there would be no pay-to-win microtransactions, but that cosmetic in-game purchases would still be available as they had been in previous Borderlands titles.
Voice actors Ashly Burch and Chris Hardwick as Tiny Tina and Vaughn (from Tales from the Borderlands respectively) were confirmed to be reprising their roles. However, it was confirmed that Troy Baker would not be returning to reprise his role as Rhys (the protagonist of Tales from the Borderlands), and neither would David Eddings as fan-favourite Claptrap.
Both actors were also involved in some level of controversy with Randy Pitchford. Pitchford said that Baker had turned down the role, who in turn said that he had been told by Gearbox that they would not be asking him to come back, and that Pitchford had got his facts wrong. Meanwhile, Pitchford and Eddings were also involved in a controversy surrounding allegations of lack of pay, harassment, and assault. In Borderlands 3, Rhys and Claptrap are now being played by Ray Chase and Jim Foronda respectively.
To bridge the gap between Borderlands 2 and 3 and to help connect their narratives, a DLC for the former was released in June 2019, called Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary. Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that Borderlands 3 would receive post-launch DLC as well, with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford saying that rather than adding new Vault Hunter, the DLC would add new playable content and missions to the game and expand upon the Vault Hunters already in the game.
Borderlands 3 is a narrative to follow-up to Borderlands 2, and also features several returning games from past games, including Lillith (a player character from the first game), Claptrap, Tiny Tina, and even characters from the Telltale Games-developed spinoff, Tales from the Borderlands, such as Rhys and Vaughn.
Borderlands 3 takes place some years after the death of Handsome Jack. The Calypso twins, Troy and Tyreen, serve as the primary antagonists of the game. Having learned of Vaults on planets beyond Pandora, the twins form a violent cult in search of them. Lillith recruits the player’s Vault character to help stop them.
Borderlands 3, like its predecessor, is an action role playing first person shooter centered around loot-driven gameplay. Players take on missions to progress their characters, gain experience, level up, learn new skills, and obtain better and rarer loot as the game progresses by completing missions or by finding them in chests and areas scattered throughout the game. Like its predecessors, it is a game with a focus on co-op gameplay for up two four players, though it can be played solo and can be played offline.
Unlike previous Borderlands games, which only took place on one planet, Borderlands 3 takes players to several different planets, which also includes Pandora, the planets the first two games took place on. In between missions, players will be in the ship Sanctuary III, which will serve as the central hub from where players can upgrade their character, manage their inventory, purchase new equipment, gear, and weapons, and also take on side missions. The developers have said that Borderlands 3 is 30-35 hours long, and that if players only do the main missions and ignore optional content.
Borderlands 3 introduces four new Vault Hunters to choose between to play as, each of whom represent a new class. These are- the “Siren” Amara, who can summon ethereal fists to aid her in combat; the robot “Beastmaster” FL4K, who can summon creatures to aid in combat; the “Gunner” Moze, who rides an iron bear during fights; and the “Operative” Zane, who can use a variety of gadgets. While previous Borderlands games allowed each character a single unique skin, which could only be used on cooldowns, Borderlands 3 lets each Vault Hunter unlock three unique skills. Of these, only one can be equipped at a time (though Zane is an exception, and can equip two). Gearbox Software made this decision to allow for greater build diversity.
Combat also sees several other changes to expand its scope from previous games. The variety of weapons in the game has been greatly increased. Like previous games in the series, Borderlands 3 procedurally generates weapons with stats ranging across various categories, such as ammunition, damage, range, perks, and the like. The total number of permutations and combinations has increased the number of weapons in the game to over a billion, according to Gearbox Software. This also includes guns that can walk on legs, and guns that shoot more guns. Guns also varied in terms of which in-game manufacturer they have been made by, which also has certain affects.
For instance, Tediore-manufactured guns are reloaded by throwing them at enemies, with the guns exploding upon impact, and a new, fully loaded weapon automatically “digistructing” in the player’s hands. Maliwan weapons can be toggled between two different elements and can fire charged shots. Vladof weapons can be equipped with attachments such as tasers, rocket tubes, and additional gun barrels. Jakobs weapons fire high-damage bullets that ricochet from one target to the next. Atlas weapons allow the player to first fire tracker tags at enemies, and then fire bullets at them that can track them and home in on them. Cov weapons allow for uninterrupted flurries of attack with infinite ammo, which is occasionally hampered by the weapons becoming overheated. Torgue weapons allow the player to switch between regular projectile rounds and sticky rounds, with the latter doing extra damage if multiple of them detonate on the same target. Hyperion weapons allow the player to take cover behind the in-built shield in the guns while you aim down their sights.
Elemental affects also play an important role in combat. Combat perks can have their own elemental affects, such as setting enemies on fire, offering alternative firing methods, ice attacks, electricity attacks, and more. “Slag”, which was an elemental condition in Borderlands 2 – which covered enemies in the slag element for a short time, making them vulnerable to a subsequent elemental attack from another element – has been replaced by “radiation” in Borderlands 3, which functions similarly to slag but also damages the enemy overtime, and can also spread from one enemy to another.
Combat also introduces several other new mechanics to make it more mobile and fast-paced. Players can now slide into cover, while the environment and, as such, cover are also more destructible. Enemy AI has also seen upgrades from previous games, while players can also wall-mount over short walls and ledges. Meanwhile, Borderlands 3 also has a pinging system while playing co-op with other players inspired by Apex Legends to help with better communication between players.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.